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The ethereal post-rock quintet Phoria was formed in Brighton, U.K. in 2009 by old friends Trewin Howard (vocals, guitar), Ed Sanderson (keyboard, vocals), and Jeb Hardwick (guitar), who had met years before when taking music lessons at school in Salisbury where they grew up. The lineup was completed with the addition of Tim Douglas (bass, synth) and Ross Crick (drums). In 2010 they released their debut EP, Yourself Still, a mellow, semi-acoustic affair that incorporated the influence of numerous acts, most notably Gravenhurst, while hinting at a unique sound. The EP drew some positive critical attention and the band secured a number of impressive support slots with the likes of Dodgy, Her Name Is Calla, and Ultraista, the band of renowned producer Nigel Godrich. After the release Crick left the band to be replaced by Seryn Burden. In 2012 the band was invited to perform in the "Cultural Olympiad" associated with the London Olympic Games, to the accompaniment of huge video projections created by guitarist Hardwick.
After three years of writing and touring, the band had finally cultivated its own unique style, demoing and discarding scores of tracks in an effort to craft the perfect release. Their 2013 sophomore EP, Bloodworks, had a much more defined identity and a stronger electronic influence, combining the lush grandeur of post-Brit-pop indie with elements of epic post-rock and even trip-hop to create a unique sound world that drew comparisons to the likes of Radiohead and Sigur Rós without ever fully sounding like either. The sparse, minimalist single "Red," with its haunting, cryptic video, was an Internet hit, garnering 100,000 Soundcloud plays in under a month. ~ John D. Buchanan
- Brighton, England